In Conversation with Claire Luxton
We spoke with Claire Luxton to learn more about the process behind her striking artworks, and her thoughts on advice to early-career creatives.
What is the process behind the creation of your intricate self portraits?
Each self portrait is different. Some can take days, whereas others may take weeks of planning and preparation. All of my self portraits start life as a sketch, which will either be in the form of a line drawing or poetry. I often find that my portraits start life as snippets from my written poetry and I use that as the epicentre of the idea. From this point I will devise a colour palette – much like I would have done when I was painting – and I will research props, studio vs location and any other details, like flowers or SFX I might need.
How did the shift from painter to photographer happen, and do you still experiment with more than one medium?
The shift from painter to photographer was a change that seemed to naturally evolve over time. I used to plan my paintings through photography. I have always visualised with a cinematic mind and I loved the way I could capture abstract emotions through both paint and film. Over time I found my photography was starting to have a louder voice than my painting and I fell in love with the way I could translate feeling to visual. I still shoot with a painterly eye, and construct my photography the same way I did my paintings. Often my photography becomes sculptural or mixed media using paint and flowers to build my own eco systems.
If you could give some advice to yourself when you were first starting out as an artist, what would it be?
I think the biggest piece of advice I would give myself is ‘remember why!’. I know it sounds simple, but I think it’s the key to success and personal growth. We each have a unique voice and a passion for what drives us. I think along the way that can get lost or diluted by everything that’s going on around you. Whilst it’s super important to research and be aware of your peers and other voices, I think you have to work really hard not to be distracted from your own path. Remember why you wanted to create in the first place, remember why you set out on this path and don’t listen too closely to all the noise, as you might lose your own voice. You are good enough and don’t need to follow the crowd.
How have you used your art as a vehicle to connect with other creatives in 2020?
For the most part of 2020 we have been in some sort of lockdown. I saw the world go still, silent, locked away behind closed doors, but more than ever this made me want to continue to create and inspire. I have always found art uplifting and therapeutic, I think it has a way of bringing people together and communication on a non verbal level. Over this year my artwork Hope connected so many people all over the world that I turned it into an Instagram filter that has been seen over 500,000 times. I have also been working on a number of public art project in London that should be coming in January and will hopefully allow everyone to come together in celebrating life and colour.
What does Multiply Kindness mean to you? Especially in the wake of Covid. Tell us more about you submitted print?
I made this artwork in response to the ‘Multiply Kindness’ campaign. In a time when we are all struggling, some people don’t even have access to basic food and heavily depend on food banks. In a season when most of us will over indulge, I wanted to help spread a simple act of kindness, kindness that can change someone’s life. To me ‘Multiply Kindness’ is about the small simple acts in everyday life that we can selfless do for each other, even a small act can make a big difference in someones life. I wanted my artwork to bring joy in day to day life and serve as a reminder that the simple act of kindness can make a big change.